Saturday, January 7, 2017

Marathon Training Week 11 - I run a 5k

Sunday - 5k @ 10:52

In December, I was looking for a New Year's Day race. Last year I ran the Iron Horse Half Marathon at Fort Campbell on New Year's Eve and enjoyed that a lot.  Since New Year's Eve was on Sabbath this year, I needed something on New Year's Day instead. I would have preferred a half or a 10k, but I couldn't find one and this 5k was only 30 minutes from my house and a few minutes from one of my favorite running trails.

I thought about running 6 or 8 miles before the 5k, but decided I'd rather try and PR the 5k instead. Also, let's face it, I was being a wimp since it rained all morning, but stopped raining about an hour before the race started.

This was an afternoon race, which was kinda awesome since I didn't have to get up super early. The race started at 2 PM. I arrived around 1:20 PM and parked quickly. It was still gray and overcast, a typical TN winter day around 50° with a breeze. But at least it had stopped raining!

I was wearing my lululemon outrunner 17" crops with the mesh up part of each leg to the knee. These pants have the weirdest thigh pockets. Way too low to be of any use to me, but they have several waistband pockets, one being large enough for my phone (Moto X Pure/Style 2015). I tucked my truck key in another small pocket and a pre-race gel in another.

I was also wearing my Under Armor charged wool half zip and a headband that covered my ears. I figured that would be good enough.

I had plenty of time before the start, so I jogged up to the bathrooms and stretched in the short line. Then I jogged around in the disc golf course for a short distance before I decided I was getting too warm. I pushed up the sleeves of my shirt and ran back to my truck to ditch my headband.

I was concerned. I was pretty warm and I didn't have much else to shed. I could unzip my half zip, but that was about it. I was wishing I had a short sleeve shirt to change into.

I ran back to the start line and put myself fairly far back in the starting gate. Unfortunately, there were dogs back there even though dogs were not supposed to be allowed in the race. That was annoying. 400 people on a narrow track is bad enough. Add dogs and leashes and it's not very safe. That was my first clue that I should have seeded myself further up.

Right as the start pistol went off, it began to rain again and I began to laugh. How funny that it would rain then. I toyed with the idea of pausing at my truck to grab my rain jacket, but decided that was no way to PR a race. Besides, I had been hot during my warm-up. Rain might be just what I needed. I pulled my sleeves down and got going.

The first 3/4 of a mile took us around the ball fields. That path was pretty narrow, good for about 3 people abreast comfortably. It was very hard to move around people that were going slower or were walking. I took advantage of a couple of holes made by other runners and squeezed past a few people. When we got back on the road, things were easier and people began to spread out when we hit the 1 mile mark. Many of the people I'd been running around were dropping back in pace to walk and I finally felt free enough to move out.

One thing I should mention. I decided to run this race entirely by feel. I was wearing 2 GPS watches, but one was under my long sleeve and the other was set to only show me my heart rate if I happened to look at it. I generally run my races by pace because if I don't, I run too hard and end up with problems for days or weeks after, mostly around my breathing. Because of that, I did still have my watch set to alarm me if my HR got too high.

The second mile went on the road by the Wilderness Station and then out to Shelbyville Highway to the turn around. I enjoyed watching the faster runners coming back at me as I passed runner after runner that was walking. After I did the turn around at mile 2, I didn't pass many people as I'd finally found where I probably should have seeded myself in the pack at the start.

I was chugging right along, knowing that the last part of this mile had a climb in it. I wasn't sure if I'd walk up that hill or not, but I wanted to make up time where I could. The aid station was just before we passed the Wilderness Station, but I had my handheld and just blew past it. We crossed through the front parking lot at Wilderness Station and onto the Wilderness trail. I ran up a little bit of a hill and down the other side. I was pleased (and a bit smug) that the hill hadn't been that bad.

And then...came...the...hill. It really wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of things, but it was steep; just not very long. It felt long at the time. I slowed down, but kept running. A guy blew past me and then I caught him not long after and passed him as he walked. A youngster teenager passed me like I was standing still. I didn't pass anybody else nor was I passed by anybody else the rest of the race.

As I crested the hill for the run down to the finish line, a volunteer stood by the side of the trail to caution runners that the pavement was slick. It had been raining the entire run. I was not hot or cold. I had unwittingly dressed perfectly for the race. I thanked her as I ran past and edged off the pavement onto the gravel to run down the hill.

l ran through the finish line and had to stop pretty quickly. Having people crowd the finish line bugs me. I like to sprint the finish line to see what I have left or to try to eek out a PR. Stopping short 5 feet after the timing line is annoying. But it seems to be a problem at most races I've been to.

Since it was still raining and I had pre-ordered pizza, I ran back to my car before I looked at my watch to see what I'd done. 34:21 on my GPS! 3.16 miles. I had definitely gotten a personal record! My last PR was in 2014 at 38:41. I was pretty pleased.

Quick picture after the run with my medal. :)

Going by feel, I had run this race almost perfectly. 11:35 for the first mile, 10:52 for the second and 10:36 for the third and hardest mile. The last 0.16 miles was run at an 8 minute/mile pace. Downhill, though ;-). If I had started a little further up in the starting gate, I might have even broke 34 minutes, but hey, live and learn, I'm still super happy with this run.

Monday - 4 miles @ 13:55

An easy 4 miles on the treadmill.

Tuesday - 6 miles @ 13:59

Another easy treadmill run. Normally, this is a tempo/steady pace run day, but I didn't want to do a steady pace run on the treadmill and I needed to stay  home to keep an eye on Tanna, my horse that is recovering from a knee injury.

Wednesday - 9 miles @ 12:22

I had time to go run my steady pace run. I originally had 8 miles on the schedule, which was a big jump in my mind. My previous tempo runs have been 6 miles or shorter, but I've done a lot of 6 mile runs, so it was time to bump it up. It was pretty cold on this run. about 35° with a 10 mph wind, but it was sunny.

I wore my lululemon Toasty Tech II tights and my UA run true half zip. I also had a headband that covered my ears, a lightweight UA skull cup and glove liners for my hands. I toyed with the idea of wearing my rain jacket as a wind breaker, but decided against it, hoping I would warm up enough to offset the wind.

This time I drove to Smith Park and ran the Raintree Parkway to Green Hills Blvd up to Concord Road before I turned around. The greenway sidewalk ended with Raintree Parkway, so I ran in the bike lane opposite traffic. There were quite a few hill climbs on this route, good enough to count this as my hill run for the week as well. I was really afraid I'd have to walk the hills on the way back, but I just kept going and managed to do it. I went slow up hill and cruised downhill. I was able to run most of the way, with just one stop to retie my right shoe, a couple of stops for traffic, and once to take a picture.

When I got close to the 8 mile mark, I decided to add on an easy paced mile at the finish, but when I got into the last mile, I felt good enough to just keep running. By the time I reached 9 miles, though I was happy enough to quit. I was definitely done. I still had a half mile back to the parking lot. I walked for a bit and stretched, but soon jogged a good bit as I got cold really fast.

Most of the run, I was fine. My UA skull cap came off around mile 5, but that was the only change I made. My half zip stayed zipped. So when I got cold when I stopped running, the only thing I could do was put my skull cap back on. Which I did, but it wasn't enough so I jogged to keep warm. I ended up dressing pretty perfectly for this run, but if this had been a slower paced run/walk run, I'd have been cold.

Due to the cold, I didn't linger outside to take any pics at the parking lot and since I was doing a tempo run, no time to take pics on the run except that one I did stop to take.

I'm pretty pleased with this run. I ran well, used the terrain well and dressed well. Most of my miles were pretty well in line with my pace goal for the run, being just 5 or 10 seconds off except mile 7 which was 1/2 downhill and 1/2 flat, so came in at 11:36. No need to pull my pace back if my HR is under control and I'm in cruise mode. This was my longest tempo run ever.

Thursday - 6 miles @ 14:03

My last run of the week was on the treadmill again. It was cold and threatening snow, so I stayed at home. This run started with a run of 0.25 miles and then a short walk. Each run/walk interval got progressively longer until I finished the run. Kinda makes it nice to ease into the run.

Weekly Stats

Training mileage: 29.17 miles
Training time: 6 hours 26 minutes

Total Mileage*: 31.75 miles
Total Time*: 7 hours 24 minutes
Elevation Gain:  781 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

What's Next?

This week is a 6 day run week. So I plan to run every day. I was supposed to do a long run this week, but our road is still icy and the park trail where I would do my long run is closed, so I'll be on the treadmill for a shorter run. So that's going to make this week shorter in mileage than my plan calls for. Hopefully things will be ok. I'm still training way more for this marathon than I did the last one, so I guess it'll work out all right.

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